You can push a 32-year-old Carmelo Anthony out of town. Coming for New York’s overgrown son, however? Good luck with that.
Photo: Bailey Carlin/TKW Illustration
Phil Jackson decided to use his end of year press conference to burn whatever remains were left of the 2016-17 Knicks season. It was the first time Jackson had spoken to the media since Septemberâ??â??â??not counting this ventriloquist act or this subtweetâ??â??â??and boy, did he make up for lost time.
Predictably, Jackson deflected the shortcomings of the Joakim Noah signing and the Derrick Rose trade. He even went as far to say that the team would welcome a reunion with Rose. If that didn’t already send fans running for the toilet, then his public undressing of Carmelo Anthony did the trick.
Jackson did not only confirm the assumption he wanted ‘Melo gone, he made sure we heard him loud and clear.
“I think the direction with our team is that he would be better off somewhere else,” Jackson said. He even went a step further and said the team could not win with him. ‘Melo made the postseason each of his seasons with the Knicks before Jackson came to town. Since then? Zero playoff games and 166 losses.
The way he has treated ‘Melo this whole season has been reminiscent of the way Alan Gray treated Vinny Chase for refusing to do Aquaman 2. We all know how far Alan’s pettiness got him in the end. Anthony didn’t turn down a multi-million dollar project, but he did shun Jackson’s baby: the Triangle.
According to Jackson, there was an open “rebellion” from the top (meaning ‘Melo):
“I think there’s disconnect sometimes with this team, and I think there was some rebelliousness with this team that created some of the discord during the year,” Jackson said. “And I think [that] has to stop and that will stop.”
There is little doubt that the team will now do everything in their power to ship out Carmelo and yet again hit the reset button. Despite the ridiculously petty tactics, the right move is to set ‘Melo free and build around Kristaps Porzingis. This is where things go from horrible to vexatious.
Jackson did not endorse Porzingis as the new centerpiece. Far from it. After he flamed ‘Melo, he turned his head towards KP. He criticized Porzingis for shooting too …
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